Chattanooga Christian School will play the first football game on the school’s brand new, $4.5 million football/soccer complex when the Chargers welcome Lookout Valley on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The school’s main goal in building the state-of-the-art, on-campus facility, which was taken on by general contracter Collier Construction, was to create a centralized location that would facilitate both practices and games for CCS’s football and soccer programs, school president Chad Dirkse said.
“Ethan [Collier, president and CEO of Collier Construction] and Bryan [King, senior estimator at Collier] are actually CCS alumni, and Ethan also has children who are currently enrolled at CCS,” Dirkse said. “This really is their school, and we knew they would work hard on our behalf.”
During the planning stages, one of the most important tasks was finding a field material that could withstand the high frequency of use.
“With all that we planned to use the field for the synthetic turf became a real possibility early on,” Dirkse said. “A grass field simply would not be able to endure such frequent play, and we also wouldn’t be able to play on it after rain.”
With help from TWH Architects and AD Engineering, CCS and Collier settled on a high-tech, synthetic turf called PowerBlade Bolt, created by Shaw Sports Turf.
“The field also has an advanced drainage system underneath that keeps the turf playable, even when it’s been raining,” Dirkse added. “The simple fact that the students at CCS have already been able to play and practice on this field, despite all the rain we’ve had this summer, is a true testament to its value and durability.”
And although the playing surface has held up, the construction process was greatly affected by the Scenic City’s rainy summer.
“Every time it rained, we literally had to wait for the ground to dry out again,” Collier said. “We had crews working in shifts around the clock under the new stadium lighting for most of the second half of the project. It was tough, but we still finished by deadline.”
In the second phase of construction, CCS will build a new training facility, complete with showers and locker rooms, along with strength training and conditioning facilities.
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